Half Fast Velo

Presented by Ninkasi Brewing

Joy of Tubulars...

...Or How I Spent My Thursday Evening.

So I loaned my 'cross bike to my neighbor, since I was out of town for the Estacada race. I mentally debated swapping the race wheels for the old clinchers, but thought, nah, Chris isn't going to crash, and the tubies have better traction. So I was surprised to learn he'd flatted both tires during the warmup. Fortunately Witty was able to help him find some spare wheels and he had a good race anyway. I checked the tires, and saw that Chris had somehow found a very sharp implement on the course; the front had a quarter-inch slash through the tread and a hole through both sides of the tube, and even a little shiny spot on the inside of the rim where it had gone through. The rear was sliced completely across the tread and the tube was sliced completely in two. I think Chris did his warmup at the Estacada drive-in, and ignored those "severe tire damage" signs.


Looked like a trip to Bill's was in order.

5:15: Get home from work with my new tires, two tubes of glue, and a beer. First admire, then curse, myself for the excellent job I did when gluing the tires on last time. Blister appears. Take drink. Start to apply glue, then remember the latex glove trick. Latex gloves are nowhere to be found in garage; has Martineau been in here? 

5:20: Apply glue to first rim, smooth with index finger, set aside to dry. Repeat with second rim. Quickly try to wash cement off index finger with hot water and soap, to no avail. Curse you, Martineau! Take drink. Hold beer bottle down with left hand to get index finger unstuck.

5:35: After 15 minutes, apply second coat of glue, careful to use same index finger. Take drink, careful to keep said index finger off bottle. Feel good about remembering that. Tell wife you'll be there in a minute when she says dinner is ready.

5:40: Carefully slip first tire on at stem and start working onto rim without getting covered in glue. Quickly realize it ain't gonna happen. Get tire mounted, both hands covered in glue. Repeat with second tire, this time also getting glue on pants, shirt, couch, and cat. 

5:50: Take drink. Ask son to hold beer bottle while you remove hands. Remind him, too late, not to touch it where there's glue on it. Carefully, using elbows and knees, pump up tires and set aside to dry.

6:00: Tell wife you'll be there in a minute, after you get glue off. Try mineral oil, alcohol, boiling water, and vigorous rubbing, to no avail. Come to dinner table with hands virtually covered in tubular cement, which is black by this time from all the home remedies you've tried to remove it with. 

6:15: Eat. This is fun. Suffice it to say that I looked like Edward Scissorhands by the time dinner was over. The kids were asking me to pass stuff to them just so they could laugh about it getting stuck to my hands.

6:30: Try to find the tube of cement to see what it says about cleanup. Find it stuck to back of left arm. Remove it and read, through the arm hair that came with it, that petrol may be used for cleanup. Gloat that you're smart enough to have that in the garage, unless Martineau took it when he stole the rubber gloves. Using ankles and chin, pour gasoline over hands. Make mental note: next time, have someone duct-tape the cat's mouth shut before applying gasoline to cat-hand interface; he doesn't like it.

6:45: Marvel at how well gasoline removes glue. Get fresh beer. Make sure son has not run off and drunk the one stuck to his hands. For the remainder of the night, wonder what you can use to get the gasoline smell off hands.

10:45: Try to remember how much Cameron was selling those clincher tubulars for.

See everybody in Bend.

Cougar Bait